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Cloud Computing on Ulitzer

MindTouch, the open source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint, extended its popular enterprise collaboration platform to the cloud. The new offering makes it easy for business power users with no programming knowledge to mashup data from existing enterprise systems into real time charts, graphs, reports and tabular data. MindTouch Cloud allows companies to replicate the features and functionality of MindTouch 2009 Standard in seconds with the swipe of a credit card and without a call to their IT department.

"MindTouch has essentially built an open source, cloud-enabled SharePoint that is accessible to non-programmers," said Sam Ramji, Vice President of Strategy at Sonoa Systems, a provider of analytics, management and cloud governance solutions for APIs and cloud services. "The more I look at what they've done, the more I realize they've built a business platform more than a technology platform."

The new platform is the company's first foray into cloud computing and is the first SaaS-based solution to give organizations the ability to easily collaborate across data from multiple enterprise systems and web applications. Never before have non-programmers been able to so easily overlay critical data from commonly used enterprise systems --Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, support ticketing, accounts payable, ERP-- all within an easy to use collaborative environment. Pricing for the company's new SaaS offering starts as low as $7 per user per month.

"This solves the business problem of accessing critical line of business information," said Aaron Fulkerson, Founder and CEO, MindTouch. "Previously, business users would have to wait weeks or even months to get to the information they need to make intelligent decisions. And the end result was static, difficult to share and challenging to collaborate on. Anyone who has to track and collaborate across the silos of a supply chain, cull data from multiple data sources monthly or report across CRM, support, financial, etc knows the tremendous value of automation with MindTouch."

Unlike Google and Microsoft, which approach enterprise collaboration with a focus on traditional documents and spreadsheets, MindTouch's approach to the market is focused on connecting deeper, business-critical data locked away in corporate silos and making it easier for non-technical business users to quickly automate reports, build applications and deploy dashboards based on that data.

MindTouch Cloud is the third major release in the company's collaborative networks roadmap. It follows the September launch of MindTouch Collaborative Knowledge Base, the first packaged solution of its kind to enable safe crowd sourcing of product documentation. In June, the company launched MindTouch Collaborative Intranet, which tackled the failure of current corporate portals and enterprise social networks to deliver value to business users. In November 2009, CIO Magazine named MindTouch as one of 11 open source companies to watch.

MindTouch customers, which include companies such as Mozilla, Microsoft, Intel, Intuit, The Washington Post, EMC, Harvard, Timberland, The US Army and The United Nations -- are reporting double-digit percentage increases in productivity and orders of magnitude of return on investment from their MindTouch-powered collaborative networks. Bill Me Later saw a 1000-to-one return on investment in the first year using MindTouch. Red Mountain Retail saved millions of dollars with 25 percent productivity gains by connecting MindTouch to their legacy Intranet, databases, and financial applications. More than 16 million users worldwide use MindTouch.

More Stories By Yeshim Deniz

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